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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Zoe Gilby Quartet @The Georgian Theatre, Stockton

Zoe, vocals ; Mark Williams, guitar ; Andy Champion, double bass ; Richard Brown, drums. Well there weren't a great deal of people turned out for a choice gig like this on a Stockton Thursday. The high ceiling and high stage didn't really do anything for the intimacy either but, the black backcloth was great for photos and the echo made the generous applause sound encouraging. This set was advertised as a quintet but Noel Dennis (trumpet) couldn't make it. Nevertheless, the as-ever undaunted Zoe sang as if the place was packed. Still reeling from her birthday and flashing an unexpected present from Andy - the knee imprint is still visible on Cullercoats beach - of white gold with diamond solitaire, Zoe set off in style with two engaging numbers: Cole Porter's, "You'd be so Nice to Come Home To" and of course, turning to Andy, "I Only Have Eyes for You" - ah! Gradually feeding us the Bass & Vocals duo set for Marsden's (West Yorks) October Jazz Festival, we were treated to another of Andy's daring arrangements - "Nice Work if You can Get it", with fantastic counterpoint and harmonic high wire tricks from Zoe - no safety net - exhilarating. For a Monk fan it was great to hear her passionate delivery of Carmen McRae's ironic take on "Round Midnight" and "Get it Straight" (Straight No Chaser) - Mark really lighting the blue touch paper on the latter with some cracking, jumping jack repetitions that had me hoping (or was it hopping) that the Saltpetre would never run out! The fireworks then spread to Andy, working his fingerboard right to the edge in all respects - green, red, blue stars, falling over Stockton! More pyrotechnics, this time from drummer Richard Brown in Andy & Zoe's bossa nova arrangement of Jimmy Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream" - a good solo, considering the difficult sound bounce in such a big box of a theatre. The reverb was also difficult in "Weaver of Dreams" where brushes might have come in useful to keep with the soft lullaby feel. Then, as the Roman Candles were reduced to a glow, Mark Williams created such a deep Mississippi blues solo in "Angel Eyes" that you could feel the wash. Finally, there have been reports of scat singing being overdone - can't comment on the others, but tonight's solos were deftly delivered and gave us a chance to hear Zoe's higher pitches and trapeze like chromatic control ; anyway, someone had to stand in for Noel Dennis! This woman is a natural and should be performing to bigger houses. Take it easy Zoe, but Take it! George M.
Photos. (courtesy of Gabrielle)

1 comment :

Lance said...

Thanks George - sounds like it was one good gig. Love must have inspired our girl Zoe.
Lucky Andy.
Unlucky Stockton for not turning out in their masses.
Thanks also to Gabrielle for the photos.

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